FDA Warns Against Alternative Treatment Options for Autism Therapy

December 30, 2013, Linda A. LeBlanc, PhD, BCBA-D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Linda A. LeBlanc, PhD, BCBA-D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Take Caution When Considering Alternative Treatment Options for Autism Therapy

In an article from DisabilityScoop this week, the FDA warned consumers that a therapy commonly marketed for treating autism, among other disabilities, has not been proven to cure or provide clinically effective outcomes for developmental disorders and can pose potential danger to consumers’ health.

The procedure, known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, is commonly used for the treatment of thermal burns, carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness.

This may come as no surprise to the many individuals who follow mainstream media’s attempts to pinpoint autism causes and cures. A heap of untested treatments exist for many diseases and conditions, though tested, evidence-based research showing positive outcomes is almost always the best option. A wide variety of therapy-based treatments for autism do exist, and many have proven successful in helping individuals achieve their maximum potential.

A great resource for understanding autism treatments and therapeutic solutions comes from the Autism Spectrum Disorders overview from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC explains that based on research, early intervention treatment services can greatly improve a child’s development. As a proponent of strategic, evidence-based services, I support this sentiment and urge families of children with autism to do their own research on evidence-based practices when securing the best option for their child.

The resources for children with autism are abundant. It’s crucial that families and caregivers give 110% to researching and learning the most effective treatments available, focusing on early intensive behavioral intervention when possible. If you’re unsure of information you’ve encountered, you can always ask one of our experts.

For more information on Applied Behavior Analysis and evidence-based therapy, visit Trumpet Behavioral Health’s “Parent” page or take a look at the Association for Science in Autism Treatment’s ‘Treatment’s resources.

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